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Full text of "Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea (Treaty doc. 103-27) and two treaties with the United Kingdom establishing Caribbean maritime boundaries (Treaty doc. 103-23) : hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 28, 1994"

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Convention on the Conservation and... RING 

uui-ORE THE 




SEPTEMBER 28, 1994 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations 


JAN 17 


83--U8CC WASHINGTON : 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
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ISBN 0-16-046016-6 

i J S. HRG. 103-767 


4, F 76/2: S. HRG. 103-767 

ivention on the Conservation and... RING 





SEPTEMBER 28, 1994 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations 

JAN | 7 • 

83-418 CC WASHINGTON : 1994 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-046016-6 


CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island, Chairman 

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware 
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts 
PAUL SIMON, Illinois 
CHARLES S. ROBB, Virginia 
HARRIS WOFFORD, Pennsylvania 

JESSE HELMS, North Carolina 
HANK BROWN, Colorado 
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire 


JAMES W. NANCE, Minority Staff Director 



September 28, 1994 


Colson, David, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Department of State ... 2 

Prepared statements 4-10 

Stevens, Ted, U.S. Senator from Arkansas, prepared statement 21 


DOC. 103-23) 


U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 

Washington, DC. 

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:30 a.m., in room 
SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Claiborne Pell 
(chairman of the committee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Pell and Murkowski. 

The Chairman. The Committee on Foreign Relations will come 
to order. 

I wish to welcome our witnesses and the public to today's hearing 
of the committee. We have two treaty documents, but actually 
three treaties, on the agenda. The first item is the Convention on 
the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the 
Central Bering Sea, commonly referred to as the Donut Hole Con- 

The second item consists of two boundary treaties, the first es- 
tablishing the maritime boundary between the U.S. Virgin Islands 
and Anguilla, and the second establishing the maritime boundary 
between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Britisn 
Virgin Islands. 

The Donut Hole Convention addresses an issue of major impor- 
tance to fishermen in the northwestern United States and in Alas- 
ka: overfishing for pollock in the Central Bering Sea. I support 
prompt Senate action on this Convention. 

I would also note that the Convention is based on the 1982 U.S. 
Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Law of the Sea Convention 
recognizes the rights of all states' nationals to fish on the high 
seas, but couples this right with the responsibility to conserve high 
seas fishery resources. 

As Ambassador Colson notes in his written statement, the Donut 
Hole Convention is precisely the sort of agreement envisaged by 


I know the administration is working hard to transmit the Law 
of the Sea Convention to the Senate before we adjourn, and I in- 
tend to initiate ratification proceedings early next year. 

As noted earlier, the second item on the agenda is the two mari- 
time boundary treaties. These were added to the agenda for today's 
hearing at the administration's request. I regret that Congressman 
De Lugo of the Virgin Islands will be unable to attend our hearing 
because of scheduling conflicts. 

It is my understanding that while he does not object to the two 
treaties themselves, there is concern in the U.S. Virgin Islands 
about their indirect relationship to the 1979 Reciprocal Fisheries 
Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. 

I understand both Senator Stevens and Murkowski will be some- 
what delayed, so I believe we should start with the two boundary 

In this regard, I would also note that I have received a letter 
from the Governor of the Virgin Islands requesting the committee 
defer action on the treaties for the moment. I ask unanimous con- 
sent that his letter be inserted in the record. Without objection, we 
will do so. 

[The letter referred to follows:] 

September 27, 1994. 

The Hon. Claiborne Pell, 
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, 
SD-466 Dirksen Senate Office Building, 
Washington, DC 20510 

Dear Mr. Chairman: I write respectfully to request that the Committee on For- 
eign Relations defer action, at the present time, on the proposed Caribbean Mari- 
time Boundary Agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States that 
is presently pending ratification. 

To the best of my recollection, the boundary agreement has been negotiated with- 
out my being consulted. I have some concerns about it, relating particularly to the 
points of demarcation and I would like the opportunity to express them to the com- 

Your assistance in this regard is deeply appreciated. 

Alexander A. Farrelly, 


The Chairman. With that, I look forward to hearing from our 
witnesses today. Ambassador Colson, welcome. The floor is yours. 


Ambassador CoLSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I understand you would like me to begin with the two boundary 

The Chairman. That is correct. 

Ambassador Colson. There is a prepared statement, and I ask 
that it be placed in the record and I will briefly summarize my tes- 

The Chairman. Without objection, that will be done. 

Ambassador Colson. These are two routine maritime boundary 
treaties that essentially formalize the status quo which has existed 
in the Caribbean since 1977, when both the United States and the 
United Kingdom, with respect to the British Virgin Islands and An- 
guilla, established our 200-mile jurisdiction. Since that time, both 
the United States and the United Kingdom have used equidistant 

lines between the various islands in that part of the world to de- 
scribe the maritime boundary limits of our national jurisdiction. 

The treaties that are now before you simply formalize what has 
been the practice of both states for 17 years. The treaties are fully 
consistent with U.S. maritime boundary practice and Article 72 
and 83 of the Law of the Sea Convention. They promote a favorable 
precedent for U.S. interests in other boundary regions. 

I know that there are members of this committee who will be 
here a little bit later that are particularly interested in seeing the 
equidistant precedent established for boundaries between the Unit- 
ed States and Canada in Dixon Entrance and the Beaufort Sea. 
These equidistant boundaries that we have with other countries 
are important precedents for those situations. 

There was a full range of consultations with affected interests 
which occurred in the 1970's when we established these basic mari- 
time boundary positions. And I know that it is of interest to the 
committee that ultimately we establish these boundaries by formal 
treaty brought before this committee and the Senate. The Depart- 
ment is trying to bring about routinely one or two equidistant line 
boundary agreements annually in order to formalize them properly 
by treaty. 

We took the occasion of our very close working relationship with 
the United Kingdom on Law of the Sea issues to formalize the text 
of these two treaties. 

Now, as I said, these are really a reflection of the status quo that 
has existed in this region for 17 years. 

We are aware that certain local fishing interests in the U.S. Vir- 
gin Islands have identified some issues that they would like to see 
addressed with British authorities relating primarily to access for 
U.S. fishermen into British waters. They believe that holding up 
ratification of these boundary agreements is the way to create le- 
verage for dealing with the United Kingdom on this issue. 

And I can say very frankly and in a very straightforward way 
that, certainly in our view, nothing could be further from the truth. 
We are certainly prepared to help our fishing interests in the U.S. 
Virgin Islands. It is our job to promote and advance the interests 
that they have. And, indeed, we have already begun a process of 
working with the concerned groups in the Virgin Islands area. 

But, certainly, the Department and the administration do not 
agree that trying to link really unrelated fishing access issues to 
U.S. ratification of very straightforward maritime boundary agree- 
ments with a close friend and ally such as the United Kingdom is 
the way to go about our jobs or the way to deal with a totally unre- 
lated fishery issue. 

Mr. Chairman, what we have here is a situation of apples and 
oranges; the issues are unrelated. And trying to create linkages 
where there are none invariably poisons the atmosphere. 

Indeed, I would submit that creating a linkage here will hurt our 
chances of securing favorable fishery results, while ratification of 
the boundary agreement will enhance the opportunity to accom- 
plish our fishery objectives. 

Our close relationship with the United Kingdom on the full range 
of ocean issues, including the Law of the Sea, calls for us to ratify 
these boundary agreements expeditiously and on their merits. We 

will continue to work as well on the fishing issues of concern in the 
U.S. Virgin Islands; and we will do that effort, as well, on the mer- 
its of those fishery issues. But linking these two issues to create 
some perceived political leverage is not really the way that we 
think we should go about this task. 

With those comments, Mr. Chairman, I would be happy to an- 
swer any questions on the boundary treaties. 

[The prepared treaties statement of Ambassador Colson follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Ambassador David A. Colson 


Dear Mr. Chairman: I welcome the opportunity to testify today in support of two 
treaties that establish two maritime boundaries between the United States and the 
United Kingdom in the Caribbean. One treaty establishes a boundary between Puer- 
to Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The second trea- 
ty establishes a boundary between the U.S. Virgin Islands and Anguilla. 

These treaties are necessary to delimit the U.S. sovereignty and maritime juris- 
diction in these areas and to resolve potential overlapping claims of jurisdiction aris- 
ing from the establishment of 200 nautical mile maritime zones by the United 
States and by the United Kingdom. In 1976 the United States enacted the Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act of 1976 which established a 200 nautical mile 
fishery conservation zone off the coasts of the United States. By Presidential Procla- 
mation in 1983 this zone became an exclusive economic zone. 

Maritime boundary situations arise with neighboring states of the United States 
where the coasts of the two countries are less than 400 nautical miles apart. The 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 created 28 maritime boundaries 
for the United States. Recognizing that it would not be possible to conclude bound- 
ary agreements with our neighbors before establishing the fishery conservation zone 
on March 1, 1977, the United States published provisional limits of that zone on 
March 7, 1977, "pending the establishment of permanent maritime boundaries by 
mutual agreement." 

Subsequently, the United States has pursued negotiations with several neighbor- 
ing states. To date, the U.S. Senate has given its advice and consent to ratification 
of four maritime boundary treaties, three of which have entered into force: Ven- 
ezuela, Cook Islands, and New Zealand (for Tokelau). The United States awaits ac- 
tion by the Russian Parliament before that maritime boundary treaty can enter into 

I would like to turn to the two treaties presently before the Senate, which involve 
our Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.K. 
territories of British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. I would like to give you a brief 
chronology of the events leading to the signing of the treaties, and to explain the 
provisions of the agreements. 

In anticipation of legislative action to extend United States maritime jurisdiction 
to 200 nautical miles, the State Department in 1975 established an interagency 
group to develop a U.S. maritime boundary policy. This group included representa- 
tives of the Departments of State, Interior, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Trans- 
portation (Coast Guard). The task of this group was to identify in each boundary 
situation the maritime boundary that would maximize United States resource and 
security interests consistent with international law and friendly relations with our 

For the two boundaries created by the present treaties, lines drawn equally dis- 
tant from the respective coasts were considered to meet United States objectives. 
In January 1977, a team of U.S. officials traveled to San Juan and Charlotte Ama 
lie to brief government officials on the pending Magnuson Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act which would become effective March 1, 1977. The fishery limits 
for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, based on equidistant lines, were ex- 
plained and there was approval by all concerned. 

About a week after the U.S. 200-mile zone became effective the United Kingdom 
extended the fishery zone of the British Virgin Islands to 200 miles. This limit was 
also based on an equidistant line. Agreement that the maritime boundary was to 
be an equidistant line came in 1979 when the United States and the United King- 
dom concluded a fisheries treaty pertaining to reciprocal fishing at existing patterns 
and levels between the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands. In the pre- 

amble to this treaty both governments recalled their common approach to the limits 
of jurisdiction is the equidistant line. 

I should state that regional officials, including government officials from Puerto 
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and members of the Regional Fishery Council 
were consulted in preparation for the 1979 fishery talks with the U.K. Several offi- 
cials served on the U.S. delegation for the negotiations. The Senate gave its advice 
and consent to ratification of this treaty on December 16, 1981, and it entered into 
force on March 10, 1983 (TIAS 10545, 34 UST 3147), following U.K. ratification on 
January 26, 1983. 

In late 1991, the Acting Secretary of State authorized the conclusion of maritime 
boundary treaties with the United Kingdom incorporating equidistant lines. It was 
anticipated that no formal negotiating sessions would be necessary and that the 
needed technical work could be accomplished through correspondence. Between mid- 
1992 and mid- 1993 technical experts from both sides worked on aspects of develop- 
ing precise and accurate equidistant lines. 

By late summer 1993 the equidistant lines had been calculated and agreed upon. 
During the summer of 1993 treaty texts were written and exchanged. By early Sep- 
tember 1993 draft treaties were completed. On our part, we submitted the drafts 
to government representatives of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. No objec- 
tions to the treaties were raised. 

On November 5, 1993, the two maritime boundary treaties were signed in London. 

Let me now turn to the provisions of the treaties. The provisions of the two trea- 
ties are essentially the same, save for Article II which defines the boundaries. 

Article I of each treaty confirms that the sole purpose of the treaty is to establish 
a maritime boundary between our respective Caribbean territories. 

Article II of each treaty defines the boundary. 

Article III of each treaty provides that each Party shall not claim or exercise for 
any purpose sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction with respect to the waters 
or seabed or subsoil on the side of the boundary adjacent to the other Party. 

Article TV of each treaty provides that the maritime boundary shall not affect or 
prejudice either Party's position with respect to the rules of international law relat- 
ing to the law of the sea. Such a provision has been considered desirable by the 
United States because maritime boundary treaties take the form of a "quitclaim," 
as provided for in Article III. The agreement does not, however, commit either Party 
to accept any maritime claims made by the other Party on the other side of the 
boundary. The provision in Article IV makes clear that each Party does not give up 
the right to oppose, as inconsistent with the law of the seal claims made by the 
other Party on its side of the boundary. A version of Article IV appears in other 
U.S. maritime boundary treaties to which the Senate has given its advice and con- 
sent to ratification, including the 1978 treaty with Venezuela, involving Puerto Rico 
and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

And, Article V in each treaty states that the treaty will enter into force on the 
date of exchange of instruments of ratification. 

Puerto Rico /U.S. Virgin Islands — British Virgin Islands 

One of the preambular paragraphs takes note of the 1979 Reciprocal Fisheries 
Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. The establishment 
of this maritime boundary does not affect the provisions of this 1979 Agreement. 

Article U of the boundary treaty relating to Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands and 
the British Virgin Islands refers to an Annex which list 50 boundary turning or ter- 
minal points which are to be connected by geodetic lines (the shortest lines between 
sets of two points). The article also states that the geodetic and computational bases 
used in determining the boundary are the North American Datum 1983 ("NAD 83"). 
Citation is given to a map which is annexed to the treaty for illustrative purposes 

The total length of the boundary is 288 nautical miles. In the north the boundary 
begins at a point which is 200 nautical miles from the coasts of both Puerto Rico 
and the British Virgin Islands. Proceeding south, the first 134 miles of the equi- 
distant line are calculated from Puerto Rico's coast. At point 6 of the boundary, 
about 75 miles from the respective coasts, the boundary is equidistant from Puerto 
Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. From this point to the 
southern terminus (the tripoint with Anguilla) the influencing base points that de- 
termine The course of the boundary are situated on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the 
British Virgin Islands. 

Most of the boundary turning points are situated in the area where the U.S. Vir- 
gin Islands and the British Virgin Islands are quite close. The two territories are, 
at one point, about 0.5 nautical miles apart; thus the boundary comes within ap- 

proximately 0.25 nautical miles of each coast. At the tripoint with Anguilla the 
boundary is about 40 nautical miles from the respective coasts. 

Both sides agreed to simplify an original equidistant line comprising 125 turning 
and terminal points to 50 points. With the goal of creating a simplified equidistant 
line in which neither side "gained" or "loss" area, geodetic computations and 
digitizing were used to calculate areas displaced in this process. The procedure of 
discarding 75 turning points resulted in essentially no net area gain or loss by ei- 
ther side. 

U.S. Virgin Islands — Anguilla Boundary 

Article II of this treaty defines the maritime boundary, which comprises one seg- 
ment 1.34 nautical miles in length. The boundary is approximately 40 nautical miles 
from the respective coasts. The northern terminus is the tripoint with the British 
Virgin Islands boundary; the southern terminus is a tripoint equally distant from 
St. Croix (U.S.), Anguilla (U.K.) and Saba Island (Netherlands). The Netherlands 
Government provided the geographic coordinates for the relevant Saba Island base 
point. Article II refers to the use of the North American Datum 1983 and to the 
fact that an illustrative map is attached to the treaty. 

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to presenting these two 
important maritime boundary treaties to you and the Committee. We urge early 
Senate advise and consent to ratification of these treaties. I would be happy to an- 
swer any questions you may have. Thank you. 

The Chairman. You have before you a letter that we just re- 
ceived today, which we have already put in the record. It would 
seem to me that as a matter of courtesy to the Government that 
we should roll this over. What is your view? 

Ambassador Colson. Mr. Chairman, this letter seems to relate 
solely to the boundary agreement itself. And the Governor indicates 
that he has some concern about points of demarcation. I do not 
know what he has in mind. But that boundary, the limit that the 
United States uses in that region, and the boundary that the Unit- 
ed Kingdom uses in that region, have been essentially the same 
since 1977. And there has never been any concerns raised by any- 
one about the limits of our jurisdiction or the limits of British juris- 
diction in that area. 

So, again, this has been something that has been rather quiet for 
a long time. We did consult with the local interests intensively in 
the 1977 period, when we established these limits. They were pub- 
lished in the Federal Register. We consulted with the people in the 
region, in both Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands, about what 
we intended to do to establish the limits of U.S. jurisdiction. And 
that was 17 years ago. 

When we got ready to formalize this situation in a treaty with 
the United Kingdom, we did consult with the offices here in this 
town that represent the Virgin Islands here in Washington, DC. 
We indicated that we were going forward now to simply formalize 
what had been the status quo for 17 years. And there was no indi- 
cation of any difficulty about this either in terms of fishing issues 
or in terms of some concern about, as the Governor's letter says, 
points of demarcation. 

The line that is in these treaties is an equidistant line. It is a 
line that is halfway between U.S. islands and British islands, all 
the way down the line. This is our standard practice that we use 
in other parts of the world, except for three exceptions that have 
been longstanding U.S. positions for our maritime boundaries. And 
it is a precedent that we would want to continue with. It has been 
assessed that this way is in the total U.S. interest, in all of our 

boundary situations, except for those places where there are very, 
very large special circumstances. 

So, I do not know that there is any reason to depart from an 
equidistant line in this region. That has been our practice in this 
region for 17 years. I think the British Government would have 
substantial difficulty if we were to go to them now and raise some 
questions about this. And I do not think it would be consistent with 
our overall interests in boundary situations were we to do that. 

The Chairman. Though I appreciate your thoughts, it seems to 
me that the administration has the responsibility to coordinate its 
position on this. And if one arm of the administration, the Gov- 
ernor, says one thing and another arm says another thing, which 
is what you are saying. And I am very sympathetic to your view 
that as a responsible committee we ought to see that the adminis- 
tration is speaking through one mouth. 

Ambassador Colson. I am not sure, sir, if the Governor of the 
Virgin Islands is really part of the administration. I may stand to 
be corrected there, but I believe he is an elected official in the Vir- 
gin Islands. But we can certainly look into that. 

The Chairman. Is he elected or appointed? 

Ambassador Colson. I really do not know. 

The Chairman. I do not either. 

Ambassador Colson. We can look into that question. 

The Chairman. I am interested, because over the new year I ex- 
pect to spend some days in the British Virgin Islands sailing. 

Ambassador Colson. I may recount for you, Mr. Chairman, a bit 
of a story here. I too have sailed in the British Virgin Islands from 
time to time. And one of the benefits, occasionally of having an old 
bureaucrat doing some of this work is to recall that when we estab- 
lished our jurisdiction in 1977 and the British Government gave us 
the coordinates of the equidistant line that they thought was ap- 
propriate, and we exchanged the coordinates of the equidistant line 
which we thought appropriate, we found out that there was an is- 
land in the middle of the channel between the U.S. Virgin Islands 
and the British Virgin Islands that was actually claimed by both 
governments. It is a small island called Flanagan Island that if you 
are sailing down there, you will find on your charts. 

In resolving this issue over the course of the last 17 years, the 
British Government agreed to our position that the United States 
really owns this small uninhabited island of several acres that sits 
in the middle of the channel, and this boundary agreement again 
confirms that the island is on the U.S. side of this boundary line. 

I hope that when you are sailing down there you will look at that 
island on the charts and that you will note that one part of the 
process of getting this agreement negotiated was to confirm U.S. 
jurisdiction over the small Flanagan Island in the middle of the 

The Chairman. I look forward to personally checking that out 
when the time comes. 

It says here in the letter from the Governor that the boundary 
agreement has been negotiated without his being consulted, to the 
best of his recollection. Is that a correct statement? 

Ambassador Colson. I think it is a correct statement to say that 
in the most recent initiative that the representatives in the Virgin 


Islands were not consulted directly. We worked with his represent- 
ative here in Washington, and expected that representative to be 
dealing with the authorities in the island territory. But we did seek 
to consult with him. We used the channel that we often use in 
Washington, which is to consult with the people here in town, and 
expect them to carry the message forward to the local authorities. 

I will emphasize again, though, that when this jurisdiction was 
established and when we were establishing our position in 1977, 
there was extensive consultation with the authorities in the Virgin 

The CHAIRMAN. I thank you very much, indeed. I think at this 
point that we might move on to the Donut Hole Convention and 
ask you for your testimony while we put this on the side for the 
time being. After you have spoken, I trust Senator Murkowski and 
Senator Stevens will be here. They have an interest in this. But, 
for the moment, please carry on. 

Ambassador Colson. Thank you. Again, I do have a prepared 
statement for the record, and ask that it be placed in the record. 

I am very pleased to be able to testify on behalf of the adminis- 
tration on this Convention — what we know as the Donut Hole Con- 
vention. The Donut Hole is the area of the Central Bering Sea be- 
yond 200 nautical miles from the United States and Russian 
coasts. It is thus high seas as we use that phrase in the Law of 
the Sea. 

There is a stock of fish called pollock. This stock is known as the 
Aleutian Basin pollock stock, that ranges into this high seas donut 
hole area from the U.S. zone primarily, but also from the Russian 
zone to some extent. In international practice, where we have a 
stock of fish going from a coastal state's 200-mile zone and ranging 
into the high seas area, we know of this issue as a straddling stock 

The Donut Hole Convention before the committee addresses the 
problem of the conservation, management and utilization of this 
straddling stock resource — this pollock stock resource. It is a very 
special agreement from a number of perspectives. 

First, it came about due in very large measure to the close co- 
ordination and cooperation with the U.S. advisers and Members of 
Congress and staff throughout the negotiating process. And as the 
negotiator, I certainly want to express my thanks for the strong 
support and participation by the North Pacific and Bering Sea ad- 
visors that we had throughout this process. 

Second, the Convention also came about due to a very intense ne- 
gotiating effort involving 10 major multilateral conferences in 3 
years with the other five countries concerned — Russia, Japan, 
Korea, China, and Poland. This required an extraordinary spirit of 
goodwill and commitment on the part of those governments. And 
in this regard, our bilateral cooperation with Russia, as the coastal 
states of the Bering Sea, was a key element in our success. 

The result which is achieved is a new state-of-the-art fishing con- 
vention that fully satisfies U.S. interests. I believe this Convention 
will set the standard for fishing agreements of the future. 

My prepared statement and the documents submitting the Con- 
vention to the Senate set forth in detail the various provisions of 

the Convention. But there are several points I would like to empha- 

First, there will be no fishing for this stock of pollock unless a 
threshold biomass of 1.67 million metric tons is reached. If there 
is no consensus, this critical biomass decision ultimately will be 
made by reference to the decisions we make in our own zone re- 
garding that portion of the stock found in the Bogoslof Island area. 

A second key point is that if a fishery is allowed in the Donut 
Hole, U.S. fishermen will participate in that fishery through either 
a national quota we will negotiate or by way of the establishment 
of a fishing season in which all countries participate. 

Third, stringent enforcement provisions are present in this agree- 
ment. These will ensure that any fishing that does occur does so 
consistent with the rules. These provisions relate to the use of real- 
time satellite position fixing transmitters — the first international 
agreement to require that — 100 percent observer coverage, board- 
ing and inspection on the high seas, and notification requirements 
that relate to entry into the fishing area. 

These provisions give us assurance that not only is the potential 
Donut Hole fishery that may occur being conducted properly, but 
also that no cheating will be going on in relation to illegal fishing 
in the U.S. zone. 

As noted in the prepared statement, the Donut Hole Convention 
rests firmly on the international law basis created by the 1982 Law 
of the Sea Convention. The general principles of the Convention 
were accepted by all countries involved in the negotiations. Article 
63 of that Convention requires coastal states and states fishing on 
the high seas for a straddling stock to seek agreement on conserva- 
tion measures for straddling stocks. And Article 116 of the Conven- 
tion makes the freedom to fish on the high seas subject to certain 
rights and duties and interests of coastal States. 

The Donut Hole Convention gives content to these general prin- 
ciples in light of the circumstances of the Central Bering Sea. The 
Donut Hole Convention is fully consistent with the Law of the Sea 

Further, if the United States becomes party to the Law of the 
Sea Convention, the United States will be able to use its dispute 
settlement provisions to ensure that other states comply with their 
obligations on the high seas, including in the Donut Hole. These 
obligations include not to fish for salmon on the high seas, as Arti- 
cle 66 of the Law of the Sea Convention requires, and to comply 
with other agreements, such as this Donut Hole Convention. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, I can report that all the countries sig- 
natory to this Convention are moving rapidly in their respective 
ratification processes. I hope that the United States will be the 
first to ratify. We anticipate that by early 1995, assuming approval 
by the Senate, the Convention will be in force. 

The signatory states met in Moscow just a few days ago at the 
end of the week of September 15, to plan for the entry into force 
of the Convention. All countries involved agreed to a plan of work 
which we had proposed, which will lead up to the first annual con- 
ference that will be held after entry into force. We plan to host that 
meeting, and we are planning to host it in November of 1995. 


Unfortunately, as we approach the coming year, we do not see 
the anticipated improvement in the Aleutian Basin stocks' condi- 
tion. The most recent information reveals a continuing decline in 
this important resource. Based on that fact, all the signatory coun- 
tries agreed in Moscow to continue the voluntary suspension of 
fishing in the Donut Hole well into 1995, at least up to the first 
annual conference under this Convention, when a new decision can 
be taken. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy to answer any ques- 
tions that you might have. 

[The prepared statement of Ambassador Colson follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Ambassador David A. Colson 



Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee: I am pleased to be here today to 
provide the comments of the administration on the Convention on the Conservation 
and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea, with Annex, and 
to recommend that the Senate provide its early advice and consent to ratification 
of the Convention. The Convention was signed in Washington on June 16, 1994, by 
representatives of the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, the Rus- 
sian Federation, and the United States of America. Japan and the Republic of Po- 
land signed the Convention in Washington on August 4, 1994, and August 25, 1994, 

The Convention represents a mile-stone in the efforts of the United States to pro- 
mote the long-term sustainable use of the Aleutian Basin pollock stock in the 
central Bering Sea. It is a state-of-the-art fisheries agreement that will properly 
limit pollock fishing in the high seas area of the central Bering Sea known as the 
"Donut Hole" in accordance with conservation needs. 

The Convention contains strong provisions to ensure that it will be effectively en- 
forced. U.S. enforcement officials will have the right to board vessels of other States 
Parties to the Convention to ensure that they are fishing in accordance with the 
Convention. It will require all vessels fishing for pollock in the Donut Hole to use 
real-time satellite position-fixing transmitters, to carry scientific observers, and to 
consent to boarding and inspection by authorized officials of any other Party to the 

The Convention will enter into force thirty days following the deposit of instru- 
ments of ratification, acceptance, or approval of the Convention by at least four of 
the signatory States, including the United States and Russia. 

The Convention, like virtually all recent fishery agreements, is based on the 1982 
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which the adminis- 
tration will be transmitting to the Senate in the very near future. 

As you know, Mr. Chairman, UNCLOS recognizes the sovereign rights and exclu- 
sive jurisdiction of coastal States to conserve and manage living marine resources 
in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) extending 200-nautical miles from their shores. 
While UNCLOS also acknowledges the right of all States for their nationals to fish 
on the high seas, it makes this right subject to the duty to conserve high seas fish- 
ery resources and to the rights, duties, and interests of coastal States. 

These provisions of UNCLOS have created enormous benefits for the United 
States, which has one of the largest and richest EEZs in the world. The portion of 
our EEZ off Alaska alone contains some of these fertile fishing grounds. 

Mr. Chairman, some stocks of fish do not remain exclusively within the EEZ of 
a single coastal State. With respect to fish stocks that occur both within the EEZ 
and in the adjacent high seas area — also known as "straddling stocks" — UNCLOS 
requires the coastal State and the States fishing on the high seas to seek to agree 
on conservation measures for stocks in the adjacent area. 

Examples of straddling fish stocks include cod in the northwest Atlantic, jack 
mackerel in the southeast Pacific off the coasts of Chile and Peru, squid in the south 
Atlantic off Argentina, orange roughy off New Zealand, and pollock in the Sea of 
Okhotsk. The primary straddling stock of concern to the United States is Alaskan 
pollock — the Aleutian Basin pollock stock, in particular — in the central Bering Sea 
of the North Pacific Ocean. It is very valuable resource. In 1991, the Aleutian Basin 


pollock roe fishery in the U.S. zone alone was valued at $145 million (first wholesale 

The central Bering Sea "Donut Hole" Pollock Fishery Convention before you today 
is precisely the sort of agreement envisioned by UNCLOS. In this case, two coastal 
States (the United States and the Russian Federation) negotiated intensively with 
four high seas fishing States (Japan, Korea, China, and Poland) and produced a 
treaty that will ensure effective conservation and management of a valuable strad- 
dling stock in the high seas area adjacent to the EEZs of the coastal States. 

During the past three years, the Department of State, assisted by the Department 
of Commerce, the U.S. Coast Guard, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 
the States of Alaska and Washington, advisors, and congressional representatives, 
has undertaken negotiations to reach a multilateral agreement to conserve, ration- 
ally manage, and sustainably utilize this tremendous resource. 

A history of the negotiations follows. 

In June of 1990, during the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Summit, Presidents Bush and Gorba- 
chev issued a joint statement calling for urgent conservation measures to be taken 
with regard to the unregulated multinational pollock fishery in the central Bering 
Sea. The Presidents noted that, in accordance with international law, all concerned 
States, including the United States and the Soviet Union, as the coastal States of 
the central Bering Sea, and distant water States fishing in the central Bering Sea, 
should cooperate to ensure the conservation of the living marine resources of this 
area. The United States and the Soviet Union noted their desire to develop coopera- 
tively an international conservation and management regime for the central Bering 

In December 1990, the United States, in coordination with the Soviet Union, in- 
vited China, Japan, Korea, and Poland — the States fishing in the central Bering Sea 
area — to a conference to consider arrangements for the conservation of the living 
marine resources of the area. At that time, the United States and the Soviet Union 
suggested, pending adoption of internationally agreed measures, that all States 
limit their fisheries in the central Bering Sea on a voluntary basis to pollock catches 
achieved during the 1985 fishing season, which totaled approximately 364,000 met- 
ric tons, in order to conserve the pollock resource. We also solicited suggestions on 
measures that States would take in the interim to monitor and enforce such levels 
of fishing. 

The fishing States accepted our invitation, and in February 1991 the First Con- 
ference on the Conservation and Management of the Living Marine Resources of the 
Central Bering Sea was held in Washington. 

The Conference agreed on interim measures to freeze fishing efforts in the area, 
discourage other countries from seeking to fish there, and discourage reflagging of 
vessels already operating in the area. It was also agreed to accelerate scientific re- 
search, standardize catch reporting, and not to retain anadromous species or herring 
taken as bycatch. With regard to the U.S and Soviet proposal that the take of pol- 
lock from the Donut Hole De limited to 1985 levels, the distant-water fishing coun- 
tries refused, responding, in effect, that such a proposal was unrealistic from an eco- 
nomic standpoint. The countries agreed to meet in July 1991 to continue discus- 

The Second Conference, held July 31 to August 2, 1991, in Tokyo, received sci- 
entific data that indicated that the Aleutian Basin pollock resource in the central 
Bering Sea had declined to such a point that it could not support catch at even the 
1985 level. The United States and the Soviet Union proposed that all countries 
agree to a moratorium on fishing in the area during 1992. The United States noted 
that the U.S. pollock fishery off Bogoslof Island in the Aleutian Chain, which had 
been under careful conservation and management controls, would likely have to be 
curtailed or even closed. Despite the scientific data presented at the Second Con- 
ference, the distant-water fishing States opposed the moratorium and asserted in- 
stead that other regulatory measures should be sought. However, no further agree- 
ment was achieved on either interim or long-term conservation measures, nor in re- 
gard to the use of scientific observers, inspectors, and real-time satellite transmitter 
tracking devices. The U.S. tabled a proposal to establish an international convention 
for the area which would address the conservation and management needs of the 
fishery resources on a long-term basis. The proposal fairly represented the interests 
of both the coastal States and the fishing States, but was rejected by the fishing 
countries as being one-sided. The delegates agreed to meet again in November 1991 
to continue discussions on both long-term conservation and management measures 
as well as urgent interim measures in the area to begin January 1, 1992. 

The United States hosted the Third Conference in Washington, November 18-20, 
1991. The delegates noted substantial catch declines from a peak of 1.4 million met- 
ric tons in 1989 to approximately 260,000 metric tons at the end of the third quarter 


of 1991. However, despite this and additional evidence that a collapse of the Aleu- 
tian Basin pollock stock was imminent, the fishing countries continued to oppose the 
proposal for a moratorium on fishing in the area in 1992. All countries did agree 
that catch levels and fishing effort should be reduced substantially in 1992. The dis- 
tant water fishing nations also agreed to some interim measures, including the de- 
ployment and exchange of scientific observers and the use of automatic satellite lo- 
cation transmitters on fishing vessels. However, the United States registered grave 
disappointment at the slow rate of progress on the issue and expressed serious con- 
cern that socio-economic considerations of some participants were continuing to be 
gut before those of the conservation of the resource. We also noted that the IJnited 
tates would be prohibiting any fishery on the Aleutian Basin pollock stock in the 
Bogoslof Island area within the U.S. 200 mile zone, and, in light of this action, 
would expect all other countries fishing in the central Bering Sea to take commen- 
surate conservation measures. The Soviet delegation noted that the Soviet Union 
was substantially reducing its fishing effort in its zone for the purpose of conserving 
the pollock stock. With regard to the U.S. proposal to establish an international con- 
vention for the area which would address the conservation and management needs 
of the fishery resources on a long-term basis, the delegates considered additional 
proposals presented by Poland and Japan, and agreed to participate in a drafting 
group to develop a composite negotiating text for future consideration. The United 
States offered to host the drafting group, and the delegations agreed to meet again 
at a Fourth Conference in the United States in 1992. 

The Fourth Conference met April 13-15, 1992, in Washington. By this time all 
countries had become convinced that there was a real conservation problem. The 
delegations expressed concern about the continued decline of the pollock resource in 
the central Bering Sea and noted substantial catch declines to a total catch of 
293,000 metric tons in 1991. They confirmed the earlier understanding that catch 
levels and fishing effort should be substantially reduced in 1992, but nothing further 
could be agreed. The United States described the drastic conservation measures 
which had Deen taken in the U.S. zone because of the depressed status of the pol- 
lock stock, including a prohibition on directed fishing for the stock in the Bogoslof 
Island area in the U.S. EEZ and steps aimed at prohibiting U.S. fishing vessels from 
operating in the central Bering Sea. The United States stated that it expected the 
directed fishery on Aleutian Basin pollock in the U.S. zone would remain closed in 
1993. Russia noted that it had substantially reduced fishing effort in its zone and 
would consider taking conservation actions, similar to those taken by the United 
States, both within and beyond its zone, provided that other countries ceased fishing 
in the Donut Hole area. Japan noted that it would closely monitor its fishery 
through daily vessel reports, and would consider further conservation measures, in- 
cluding additional reductions in its catch and effort level in the area in 1993. China, 
Japan, Korea, and Poland expressed continued opposition to any proposed morato- 
rium or suspension of fishing. 

Japan noted that it was taking voluntary action to decrease its fleet size by nearly 
50 percent during 1992, and stated that the overall catch quota for Japanese vessels 
would not exceed 120,000 metric tons in 1992. Korea-stated that it would decrease 
its fleet from 41 to 31 vessels in 1992, and indicated that it was considering the 
establishment of a catch limit for pollock in 1992 that would not exceed the 1991 
catch level. China and Poland stated that they would further voluntarily reduce 
their number of fishing days by 20 percent compared to 1991 and would be prepared 
for further reductions. China noted that its reduction in catch should correspond to 
its reduction in fishing effort. Poland noted only that the 1992 pollock catch by Pol- 
ish vessels would not exceed the 1991 level. 

The United States and Russia expressed dismay at the incremental steps taken 
by the distant water fishing countries and that the proposed fishing effort reduction 
of 20 percent was not substantial. The coastal States reiterated their call for a fish- 
ing moratorium in the central Bering Sea due to the extremely depressed condition 
of the pollock resource; however, the fishing countries continued to resist this pro- 
posal. The United States announced its intention not to issue permits to any country 
seeking to use U.S. waters in support of their pollock fishing activities in the central 
Bering Sea. 

The delegations reviewed a composite negotiating text outlining a long-term con- 
servation regime for the area and established a working group to continue efforts 
to produce a final negotiating text. It was recognized that further efforts in this re- 
gard would be required. The delegations agreed to meet again at a Fifth Conference 
to be hosted by Russia in August 1992. 

On June 17, 1992, at the U.S.-Russia Summit in Washington, Presidents Bush 
and Yeltsin issued a joint statement noting with concern that, despite the con- 
ferences held to date to develop an international regime for the conservation and 


management of the living marine resources of the central Bering Sea, the pollock 
resource in that region had suffered a precipitous decline, which could upset the bal- 
ance of the Bering Sea ecosystem as a whole. They called for strong and urgent con- 
servation measures, including a voluntary suspension on fishing in the central Ber- 
ing Sea by all States, consistent with steps already taken by the United States and 
Russia to conserve the resource. 

The Fifth Conference was held in Moscow, August 12-14, 1992. A major break- 
through was realized when all sides agreed to a voluntary suspension of fishing in 
the area during 1993 and 1994 in light of the drastic decline of the pollock resource 
in the Donut Hole. The reported total catch of pollock in the area during the first 
six months of 1992 was less than 11,000 metric tons. It was noted that fishing ef- 
forts in the area had been significantly reduced. The United States and Russia 
agreed to take the same measures for the stock of pollock in their respective zones 
as were being taken in the Donut Hole. A resource monitoring program was also 
agreed upon to include scientific surveys by research vessels, trial fishing by a lim- 
ited number of fishing vessels, and other scientific activities. The delegations agreed 
to continue working on a long-term conservation regime for the area, and to meet 
again at a Sixth Conference to be hosted by the United States in early 1993. 

The Sixth Conference was held January 13-15, 1993, in Washington. A frame- 
work for the decision-making provisions of the draft Agreement was agreed upon 
which represented a significant step toward concluding a long-term conservation 
and management agreement for the area. The decision-making procedures acknowl- 
edged the precedence of the management action employed by the United States and 
Russia as the coastal States of the central Bering Sea in their respective zones for 
the Aleutian Basin pollock stock, in the event international consensus can not other- 
wise be reached. 

No significant new information on the status of the pollock resource in the central 
Bering Sea was presented. The delegations reviewed steps taken to implement the 
temporary suspension of fishing for pollock in the central Bering Sea on a voluntary 
basis during 1993 and 1994, as well as the same measures in the U.S. and Russian 
zones. All countries confirmed having taken domestic steps to implement the sus- 
pension on a voluntary basis. The Conference also convened a working group to 
elaborate on procedures for implementing the resource monitoring program agreed 
to at the Fifth Conference. In light of the importance of the issue, the delegations 
agreed to meet again at a Seventh Conference to be hosted by Japan in June 1993. 

On April 4, 1993, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin, in the Joint Statement issued 
at the Vancouver Summit, announced their intention to expand and improve their 
joint work in the area of environmental protection. They agreed that the United 
States and Russia would further develop bilateral cooperation in fisheries in the 
Bering Sea, the North Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk, including for the pur- 
pose of preservation and reproduction of living marine resources and of monitoring 
the ecosystem in the North Pacific Ocean. 

The Seventh Conference on the Conservation and Management of the Living Ma- 
rine Resources of the Central Bering Sea was held June 28 through July 1, 1993, 
in Tokyo. The conference made minimal progress toward concluding the draft agree- 
ment for the conservation and management of the pollock resource in the central 
Bering Sea. Discussion continued among the countries on the decisions-making as- 
pects of the agreement, particularly those relating to the determination of the allow- 
able harvest level of pollock in the central Bering Sea. It was decided that, for pur- 
Eoses of the agreement, the pollock biomass of fishery management Area 518 in the 
United States would represent 60 percent of the Aleutian Basin pollock biomass. 
Additionally, there was agreement that the threshold level of Aleutian Basin pollock 
biomass would be 1.67 million metric tons; there would be no fishing on the stock 
if the biomass is below this amount. Furthermore, the countries agreed that when 
the percentage of pollock biomass in Area 518 as a percentage of the Aleutian Basin 
pollock biomass changes, the threshold level will be amended accordingly. No 
progress was achieved on other decision-making aspects of the draft agreement. The 
countries reviewed steps taken to implement the interim measures for the conserva- 
tion and management of the living marine resources of the central Bering Sea, in- 
cluding the temporary suspension of fishing for Aleutian Basin pollock on a vol- 
untary basis in the central Bering Sea during 1993 and 1994. The delegations ex- 
changed preliminary information obtained through a research and monitoring pro- 
gram being conducted during the period of the fishing suspension. 

Results of research cruises conducted up to the date of the Seventh Conference 
indicated that the status of the pollock resource in the Aleutian Basin still did not 

firovide grounds for optimism. Available information from the research cruises and 
rom trial fishing operations indicated no significant change in the status of the 


Aleutian Basin pollock stock and that it continued at a low level of abundance. The 
countries intended to continue cooperative scientific research. 

The United States expressed disappointment that greater progress was not made 
on the draft agreement. We noted that fundamental work was required in a number 
of areas; that comparing the prospects for resumed fishing in the future with the 
overfishing situation which existed in the late 1980's, as some countries had sought 
to do, was inappropriate; that the interests of the United States and Russia, as the 
coastal States in whose zones nearly 95 percent of the Bering Sea lies, must be 
taken into account; and that this agreement should be state-of-the-art and must en- 
sure sustainability of resources over time. 

The countries, reaffirming the necessity of concluding negotiations on a long-term 
conservation and management agreement, met for an Eighth Conference hosted by 
the Republic of Korea on October 6-8, 1993, in Seoul. The countries reviewed steps 
to implement the voluntary moratorium and other interim measures adopted at the 
Fifth Conference that were aimed at conserving and managing the living marine re- 
sources in the central Bering Sea. The delegations also shared information on the 
status of the pollock resources and concluded that the very low abundance of stocks 
had not changed significantly. The countries indicated their intention to coordinate 
further research and surveys in 1994 on the Aleutian Basin pollock resource, and 
to discourage fishing for pollock in the region by vessels of other nations. 

Additionally, the delegates continued discussions on a long-term arrangement for 
the conservation and management of pollock resources in the central Bering Sea. 
They also considered, but did not agree on, various proposed methods to establish 
allowable harvest levels of pollock under the draft agreement after stocks had been 

The representatives discussed provisions for compliance, including the use of real- 
time satellite position-fixing devices, transmission of fishing vessel and catch data, 
placement of on-board observers, and enforcement mechanisms, including boarding 
and inspection, measures to respond to alleged violations, and prosecution and pen- 
alties. The delegates also considered proposals on other aspects of the draft Agree- 

Recognizing the gravity of the decline of the pollock resources in the central Ber- 
ing Sea and the urgent necessity for responsive measures, the delegations stated 
their desire and intent to conclude negotiations on a draft text by the end of 1993. 
Toward this end, they agreed to meet at a Ninth Conference hosted by the United 
States at the earliest possible time. 

At the Ninth Conference, held in Washington, D.C. from November 29 to Decem- 
ber 3, 1993, the countries continued their discussions on a draft Agreement, achiev- 
ing understandings on the major outstanding issues, including the method to be 
used for establishing allowable harvest levels, and matters involving compliance. 
Representatives noted that their respective governments would carefully review the 
text, especially the provisions on compliance. 

In view of their continuing concern for the conservation and management of pol- 
lock resources in the central Bering Sea, the countries decided to complete the draft 
Agreement as soon as possible and to meet at a Tenth and final conference hosted 
by the United States. 

The countries concluded negotiations on the draft text, and the agreement was 
initialed at the Tenth Conference, held February 7-11, 1994 in Washington. The 
"Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the 
Central Bering Sea" contains provisions that require vessels fishing for pollock in 
the region to use real-time satellite position-fixing transmitters, to carry observers, 
and to consent to boarding and inspection by authorized officials of any other party 
for compliance with the Convention. The United States serves as depositary for the 
Convention, which will enter into force thirty days following the deposit of instru- 
ments of ratification, acceptance, or approval of the Convention by at least four sig- 
natory States, including the United States and Russia. 

The Convention was opened for signature in Washington on June 16, 1994, and 
has been signed by each of the countries that participated in the negotiation of the 
agreement. Additionally, each country is currently undertaking its respective domes- 
tic procedures to ratify the Convention. 

Mr. Chairman, I would be remiss if I did not note the benefit received throughout 
the negotiations from the support provided by the National Marine Fisheries Serv- 
ice, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Coast 
Guard. Equally important in our three year effort toward the successful conclusion 
of the Convention was the close cooperation, counsel, and advice provided by rep- 
resentatives of the States of Alaska and Washington, as well as from members of 
the U.S. Bering Sea and North Pacific Advisors Body, all of whom support the Con- 


vention's early ratification and entry into force. I also wish to acknowledge the sup- 
port and advice provided by Congressional staff during the negotiations. 

Mr. Chairman, I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regard- 
ing the negotiations or the Convention itself. I trust that the Committee will view 
the Convention favorably and will act on it at an early date. Thank you. 

The Chairman. I noted with interest in your comments about the 
Donut Hole Convention and its relationship to the Law of the Sea 
Convention. I was wondering what basis there would be in inter- 
national law for agreements to control fishing on the high seas in 
the absence of the Law of the Sea Convention/ 

Ambassador Colson. Mr. Chairman, in this negotiation, which 
was a very difficult negotiation with the six countries concerned, 
from the outset we were able to agree on the basic principles of the 
Convention. If we did not have those basic principles, we would 
have been starting way behind the curve. But those basic prin- 
ciples, and agreement internationally on those basic principles, 
kept us from a very chaotic situation. 

While we assert the right to a 200-mile zone and while Russia 
asserts a right to a 200-mile zone, the principles of the Convention 
confirm that we are entitled in international law to have a 200- 
mile jurisdiction of our own. As well, we assert a coastal state in- 
terest in the pollock resource outside of our 200-mile zone, that we 
have rights and interests in that resource, but the Convention con- 
firms that we do. And it requires other states that may be fishing 
that resource to cooperate with us and to work out arrangements 
that take account of our coastal state interest. 

If we did not have those basic principles, we would simply be 
starting from ground zero in a negotiation, where everyone would 
be on an equal footing, and it would be a very difficult situation 
to sort out. But in this situation we have these basic principles of 
the Convention. 

Certainly these were, from time to time, subject to different in- 
terpretations by different countries, but those bedrock principles 
were the foundation upon which this agreement was built. And 
they were key, I believe, to moving countries like Japan in particu- 
lar, which of course is a very legalistic country, moving them to a 
position where they were prepared to accept terms and conditions 
in this kind of convention which they might not have been willing 
to do if there was not a Law of the Sea foundation for the interests 
that the United States was asserting. 

The Chairman. So this would be one more reason why we ought 
to go ahead with the Law of the Sea? 

Ambassador Colson. Very much so. And I would also note again 
the importance that the dispute settlement provisions of the Con- 
vention, with respect to fisheries, could have in helping enforce 
compliance with this Donut Hole Convention. We will have, assum- 
ing that we ratify the Law of the Sea Convention, additional tools 
that will supplement our diplomacy to help ensure compliance with 
general principles of international law, as well as the specific obli- 
gations of this Convention in the Donut Hole if states refuse to go 
along with those rules. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

In the letter from the Secretary of State submitting the Conven- 
tion it states that the Department of State stands ready to work 
with the Congress toward the enactment of any implementing leg- 


islation. My question to you is: Is implementing legislation nec- 
essary for us to carry out the obligations of the Convention, and 
what statutory authorities are needed? 

Ambassador Colson. Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is an important 
issue. The administration has not proposed implementing legisla- 
tion for this Convention because it is unnecessary if we move for- 
ward and ratify the flagging convention and pass the implementing 
legislation which has been submitted to the Congress relating to 
the flagging convention. 

If we pass that convention and that set of rules that are con- 
tained in the flagging convention implementing legislation, we will 
have all the necessary legal authorities for the United States to 
technically implement the Donut Hole Convention on our side. So, 
we have seen it as an unnecessary step to establish second addi- 
tional implementing legislation separately for the Donut Hole. 

Certainly if we were to, for some reason, not be able to ratify the 
flagging convention or fail to pass the necessary implementing leg- 
islation, there would be a need to pass implementing legislation for 
this Donut Hole agreement. Also I would note that often our fish- 
eries implementing legislation creates some set of advisors or some 
advisory process that we utilize for the purpose of getting public 
input into positions that the United States might take. 

We do not really see a need for that in the Donut Hole situation 
because Pub. L. 100-629, which sets up the North Pacific and Ber- 
ing Sea Fisheries Advisory Body, which we used in the negotiation 
of this Convention as our set of advisors, would seem to us to be 
sufficient for this purpose. And it would be our intent to continue 
to utilize that group as the advisors for the Donut Hole Conven- 

The Chairman. Notwithstanding its mandatory features in this 
Convention, the success of the conservation management regime 
contemplated by the Convention depends upon the voluntary co- 
operation of the parties. What gives you the confidence to feel that 
that voluntary cooperation will be present? 

Ambassador Colson. Well, first, I would say that throughout the 
course of this negotiation it has always been tough in dealing with 
our colleagues from Japan and China and Poland and Korea, but 
I think they have been cooperative. And they certainly have been 
cooperative in the last 2V2 years when they voluntarily agreed not 
to fish in the Donut Hole. And I think they want to see the stock 
rebuild and they want to see a potential possibility of a fishery in 
the Donut Hole in the future on a healthy stock offish. 

I am confident that the agreement that we have reached gives 
us the tools to ensure full compliance with the obligations that the 
United States and these other five states are taking on. 

We have about as much assurance as we are ever going to get 
about how that fishery is going to be conducted in that region. The 
requirement of satellite transponders will give us immediate access 
to the information of where vessels are at any particular time. We 
will be able to ensure that vessels are not cheating in our zone. 

We will have the right to place U.S. observers on any foreign 
fishing vessel that we want to put U.S. observers on. We will have 
the right to board and inspect any fishing vessel for any purpose 
in the Donut Hole area. And certainly we have that right in our 


zone. And if we find violations, it is clear that if they are serious 
violations, we will be able to continue the boarding process and 
hold on to that vessel until we have full assurance that appropriate 
penalties will be levied by the flag state. 

The Chairman. The Convention calls on the parties to agree by 
consensus on national harvest levels for pollock. And I think we 
would call this the individual national quotas. If the consensus on 
the individual national quotas cannot be reached, then the Conven- 
tion provides that fishing shall take place in the Convention area 
pursuant to part two of the annex. Could you describe part two and 
its purpose for the committee and how it would ensure that the 
sum of each party's pollock catch in the Convention area does not 
exceed the agreed upon annual harvest? 

I realize this is a rather technical question, but we would appre- 
ciate the answer. 

Ambassador Colson. Mr. Chairman, we do not have all of the 
answers to all of the technical details in that respect, but I can say 
this. During the course of the negotiation, it appeared to be very 
difficult to divide up a total allowable catch in some way amongst 
the six countries concerned, where we all thought that we were 
being fairly treated. 

It was agreed that if that was not possible — and I would submit 
it is most likely that that will not be possible — then the way that 
we would conduct the fishery in the Donut Hole would be to estab- 
lish a fishing season during which the fishery would be opened. 
There would oe very clear catch reporting requirements. We would 
have observers on board to monitor the catch. And we would only 
keep that fishery opened until such time as the total allowable 
catch had been caught. 

We would have real-time information about the amount of fish 
that was being taken in the Donut Hole based upon weekly catch 
reporting data and based upon the observer information that we 
would receive. We would close the fishery. If some vessel stayed in 
the fishery after it was closed, that would be a serious violation 
under which we could exercise our enforcement rights under this 

The Chairman. I thank you very much indeed. 

We have been joined by Senator Murkowski, who I think has 
some comments and questions on this matter. 

Senator Murkowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I particularly am appreciative of you for having rescheduled this 
hearing on the Donut Hole. And I apologize for being late. As you 
know, over at the Library of Congress, is the opening of the Rus- 
sian-Alaska Exhibit, which is an extraordinary collection of arti- 
facts from the Russian Orthodox Church and the early history of 
Russia's founding of the Western United States as it is known 

President Gorbachev conceded that Columbus founded America, 
but he said that the Russians founded Western America, or Alaska. 
And in the presentation, he had a check prepared to buy back Alas- 
ka, $7,200,000, or thereabouts, with interest. And Senator Stevens 
is calculating the interest and will be here at some point. I do not 
know whether there was any acceptance of that, but we will see 
what the interest tallies up to. 


But, in any event, let me just make a few comments, because I 
think that this is a noteworthy day, and a number of people de- 
serve credit, including those in the State Department who have 
worked the Donut Hole issue. And for those of you who do not 
know, that is the area that is 200 miles out from Alaska, 200 miles 
out from Russia, and it is called the Donut Hole because it is out- 
side the jurisdiction of the 200-mile limits. 

We have seen a situation where unlimited fisheries took place in 
an area where the most productive fishery in the North Pacific or, 
for that matter, anywhere in the world existed. And without appro- 
priate regulations, as you know, Mr. Chairman, the fishery stood 
to go into substantial decline. So we have had a lot of people in- 
volved here. 

There was an interesting group, Mr. Chairman, that I think de- 
serves credit, including some civilian advisors from Alaska — and 
also a fisherman by the name of Sam Gjelle and a gentleman by 
the name of Ted Evans. Gjelle chartered a small aircraft, flew out 
there, and took pictures of what was going on at a time when we 
suspected — but had no proof — of illegal fishing out there. These 
gentlemen made a videotape of as many as seven vessels using the 
donut area to stage raids into the U.S. zone. 

The Chairman. I must interrupt. There is a vote going on. Do 
you want me to go over and come back? 

Senator Murkowski. If you would like to go over and then we 
will trade off, that would be fine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

In any event, I think Gjelle and Evans and their videotape de- 
serve recognition, because they brought to light, in an expedited 
manner, a situation that we were concerned about but on which we 
had not gotten the evidence. And I think it really showed the seri- 
ousness of what was happening in and out of the exclusive eco- 
nomic zone. 

The concern, of course, was for the pollock stocks that spawn 
largely in U.S. waters. The reported catches from the Donut area, 
we were told, equalled the catches from the U.S. zone, and unre- 
ported harvests were known to take a far greater volume. 

We know that vessels from Japan, China, Korea, and Poland 
really found a gold mine in that unregulated fishery. As a con- 
sequence, it was necessary that something be done. 

We soon saw, as we suspected, that even the Bering Sea could 
not sustain that limitless harvest, and, as we saw, the catches from 
the unregulated harvests in the Central Bering Sea really were a 
back door to this country's very richest and most abundant fish- 
eries resources — and that was of course the pollock EEZ. 

Today, we are moving to close that door. And that is the signifi- 
cance of what we have before us. Because since the mid-1980's, I, 
along with Senator Stevens, have sponsored numerous resolutions. 
We have held meetings with administration officials. We have had 
lots of meetings with foreign government representatives, both here 
and abroad, to increase the awareness of the Donut Hole. 

And, in 1992, we passed legislation making it illegal for U.S. ves- 
sels to fish in the Donut Hole, and, together with the fishing na- 
tions, reached an agreement for a temporary suspension of all fish- 
ing through the end of this year. And now we are in a position 
where we are ready to adopt a permanent measure. 


The treaty we are addressing today, I think, is an excellent one. 
When the pollock biomass becomes sufficient to allow fishing to 
occur, there is a procedure under the treaty to provide that all par- 
ties ensure that its vessels are specifically licensed to fish in the 
area, that they carry position transmitters that they and are re- 
quired to carry fishery observers on a full-time basis. So, we have 
the appropriate regulatory oversights established. 

The treaty also provides very strong provisions on boarding and 
inspection. One of the problems we nave always had is enforce- 
ment. We now will have the needed enforcement authority. All fish- 
ing vessels will be subject to boarding and inspection by vessels of 
another party if there is reason to suspect that there are violations. 
If violations are found, the vessel's flag state has the responsibility. 
However, if the flag state cannot take over in a serious case, the 
boarding party can maintain control until appropriate arrange- 
ments are made. 

I am particularly pleased with these enforcement measures, be- 
cause, together with provisions calling for observers and real-time 
position transmitters, they are things that I have strongly encour- 
aged and which will make it possible to ensure that no fishing ves- 
sel is able to use fishing in the Donut Hole to repeat the kind of 
raids we have seen in the past number of years. 

Finally, let me note in my opening remarks that although no 
country will be compelled to join the treaty in order to fish, inter- 
national law allows the use of a variety of mechanisms to encour- 
age it to do so, including trade sanctions. And, once the Convention 
on the Law of the Sea goes into effect, that agreement's dispute 
mechanism, I understand, may also be used to encourage coopera- 

So, in all, I think the treaty sets a new standard of international 
fisheries cooperation. 

I am certainly happy to give it my full support and encourage all 
members of the committee to do the same. 

And, again, I want to thank Chairman Pell for his kindness in 
being responsive to the concern that the Alaska delegation has had 
for a long time and, which I know that he shares. 

That is all I have for my opening statement. We are here to hear 
some more from our witness, the Hon. Ambassador Colson. 

I apologize for interrupting you, but that is the procedure around 
here — apologizing and interrupting. So, please, proceed. It is nice 
to see you again. 

Ambassador Colson. Well, Senator, it is good to see you again, 
too. I had concluded my informal remarks, but I would like to un- 
derscore a few points. 

Senator Murkowski. I might add that the second bell has rung, 
so I have 7 minutes to go over for a vote. I do not know whether 
the chairman is going to get back here, but I am good for at least 
3V2 to 4 minutes. 

Ambassador Colson. I want to underscore the importance that 
I attach to the cooperation that we received from the North Pacific 
and Bering Sea advisors. They played a very, very key role in this 
process. And as you know, in any negotiation it is a dynamic proc- 
ess. It moves from where you start, and you end up often in a 
slightly different place. 


One of the things that was really very encouraging in this proc- 
ess was to watch our advisors and their positions and their interest 
in creating an international solution to this problem, rather than 
a unilateral solution, evolve, and their comfort level — that we got 
a good deal in this process. And I think we did. 

If we look back where we started the negotiations and some of 
the things we were prepared to offer, we ended up in a much better 
position. We ended up with this position that there will not be any 
fishing there until the biomass reaches a particular level. And we 
are in control of that. 

Senator Murkowski. Whose science determines the biomass? Is 
that our science? 

Ambassador Colson. In all of these conventions you usually 
need — at one level you are going to try to work it out internation- 
ally. There will be an effort to decide by consensus. But the key 
point on this Convention is that there is a fail-safe mechanism. If 
we cannot decide the biomass by consensus, it will be decided 
based upon what we decide for the Bogoslof part of the stock in our 
zone. And it is a very key point that our decision will be the driver 

Senator Murkowski. OK, it will be our science. 

Ambassador Colson. And while we will certainly coordinate and 
cooperate with the other countries involved, we are not going to get 
into one of these situations where one of the fishing countries has 
a scientific view and we have a scientific view and we cannot make 
them meet, and so we have a chaotic situation. 

Senator Murkowski. So, you do not see another situation like 
the U.S. -Canada salmon treaty? 

Ambassador Colson. No, I certainly hope not. 

Senator Murkowski. I hope not also. 

Ambassador Colson. Here we have some very clear rules. We 
have very clear enforcement authority. We have a strong conserva- 
tion ethic built into it. We will have a very limited fishery. I do not 
expect we will ever see the kind of fishery that we had in 1987, 
1988, and 1989, even when the stock rebuilds. I think that was a 
historic anomaly. We knocked the stock apart. It is going to take 
some time for them to recover. 

Senator Murkowski. "Some time" is how long? 

Ambassador Colson. Well, we know that in 1995 there is not 
going to be any fishing on this stock. The scientific indications con- 
tinue to go down. We had thought that for 1995 we might begin 
to see a leveling off or maybe a rebounding. But I think that most 
scientists would say it will be at least a couple of years before we 
see this turn around. 

Senator Murkowski. Before you see a halt in the decline? 

Ambassador Colson. Right. And then it is going to take some 
time to rebuild. 

Now, as you know, you get anomalies, where you have very 
strong year classes from time to time, which, for some reason that 
you cannot really explain, show up in the fishery. And there is a 
lot of suspicion that what we had was an anomaly, where we had 
a very strong year class that was present in the Donut Hole for 
that late period in the 1980's. And also there is a lot of suspicion — 
and we will never know the truth of this — that a lot of those fish 


that were said to be caught in the Donut Hole were really taken 
in our zone. 

What we have now is a situation that if we get to a point that 
we all are comfortable that a fishery could be conducted in the 
Donut Hole, that fishery is going to be very carefully controlled. As 
you said, we are going to know if we have any cheating going on 
in our zone. We will have those transponders on. We will have ob- 
servers on. That is not going to occur again. 

And if there is a fishery, it is going to be a very limited fishery 
and a very carefully controlled fishery. 

Senator Murkowski. I am sorry, Ambassador, I have to leave. I 
am going to recess, because I am quite sure that Senator Stevens 
is going to come over here. 

I want to personally commend you for your knowledge and exper- 
tise and contribution to bringing this about. I do not feel it would 
have happened without your commitment and your convincing ar- 
guments, which were made on sound science and not emotion. 

Ambassador Colson. Thank you. 

Senator Murkowski. I hope you also will be able to continue 
your service as an expert on the Canadian salmon issue. Unfortu- 
nately, it is still very much hanging in the balance. 

So, I will simply recess the hearing. I understand Senator Pell 
is on his way back. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. 

[A brief recess was taken.] 

The Chairman. The committee will come back to order. 

Senator Murkowski informed me that he has had the opportunity 
of asking some questions. Senator Stevens cannot be with us be- 
cause of conflicting commitments. So, without objection, I would 
ask that his statement be inserted in the record as if read. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Stevens follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Ted Stevens 


I appreciate the opportunity to present this statement. My thanks to Chairman 
Pell and Senator Helms for allowing me this privilege. 

What we call the "Donut Convention" is officially called the "Convention on the 
Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea." 

We began work on this agreement well over five years ago. 

As you may remember, in 1987, U.S. fishermen operating off Alaska presented 
video evidence to the Coast Guard and to Congress of foreign vessels using the 
Donut Hole as a staging area for illegal fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic 

On March 21, 1988, the Senate passed my resolution (S. Res. 396) calling on the 
Secretary of State to initiate negotiations for a moratorium on fishing in the Central 
Bering Sea Donut area. 

This resolution called on the Secretary to ensure that the moratorium would stay 
in effect until after the U.S. and Russia could reach agreement with the other inter- 
ested nations on measures to conserve and manage the fishery resources in the 

The U.S. and Russia convened a series of meetings on fishing in the Donut start- 
ing in 1991. 

Between 1989 and 1992, we saw the dramatic decline that was occurring in the 
Aleutian Basin pollock stock, culminating in the closure of fisheries for this stock 
inside the U.S. EEZ in 1992. 

We increased our pressure to conserve the Donut Hole resources in 1992 by pass- 
ing the "Central Bering Sea Fisheries Enforcement Act" (title III of Pub.L. 102-582), 
which authored. 


This Act prohibited U.S. nationals and vessels from fishing in the Donut except 
when allowed under an international fishery agreement to which both the U.S. and 
Russia are parties. 

The Donut Enforcement Act also prohibited the entry into U.S. ports of fishing 
vessels from foreign nations fishing in the Donut outside of an international agree- 
ment to which both the U.S. and Russia are parties. 

Following the passage of this Act, the U.S\, Russia, China, Japan, Korea and Po- 
land agreed in 1992 to a two-year voluntary moratorium on fishing in the Donut 

The U.S. continued to meet with these nations to work on a permanent regime 
for the conservation and management of fishery resources in the Donut Hole. 

Last November, just before the ninth round of Donut meetings, the Appropria- 
tions Committee included report language at my request in the Foreign Operations 
appropriations bill (Pub .L. 103-87). 

This language recommended that the cooperation of the nations participating in 
the Donut negotiations be considered in deciding how much foreign aid the U.S. 
should provide. 

The goal again was to increase pressure on the other nations to successfully con- 
clude these Donut negotiations. 

Near the end of the session last year, we also passed a "Sense of the Congress" 
resolution as part of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-206), 
calling on the United States to use all available means to reach an agreement in 
the Donut Hole. 

These additional measures led to the completion in February 1994, at the tenth 
round of Donut meetings, of the Convention you are considering today. 

The United States, Russia, China and Korea each initialed this agreement at a 
ceremony on June 16, 1994, and Japan and Poland agreed to the Convention on Au- 
gust 4, 1994 and August 25, 1994, respectively. 

The President signed the Convention for the U.S. on August 9, 1994. 

The Agreement will allow the U.S. and Russia to set harvest levels for the Donut, 
and will allow the U.S. and other parties to board vessels suspected of violating the 

The Convention also includes important notification procedures for fishing vessels 
entering the Dough nut Hole and for transshipping fish, and also includes fishery 
observer requirements for member nations. 

I come before you today to urge the Committee on Foreign Relations to send this 
measure to the Senate floor so that we can complete the advice and consent process 
before the adjournment of the 103rd Congress. 

The Donut Convention is vitally important to the conservation of pollock both in 
the high seas area of the Bering Sea, and inside the Exclusive Economic Zones of 
both the United States and Russia. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, I note that the Commerce Committee reported out last 
week the High Seas Fisheries Licensing Act that Senator Kerry and I introduced. 
This act would implement and the Donut Convention. I hope to work with you and 
this committee to pass this legislation this year. 

The Chairman. I would add that in connection with the bound- 
ary convention that I do believe that the Governor for the Virgin 
Islands should be informed. And we are in communication with 
him, hoping that the points that concern him can be resolved. If 
they are not resolved for the moment, as a responsible chairman, 
I feel that I should have the prerogative of holding off if he is not 

Ambassador Colson. I understand that point, Mr. Chairman. We 
will be working with your staff this afternoon to see if there is 
something that we can do to explain the situation to the Governor. 

As I said, the line is, for all practical purposes, the same line. 
It was the line that we have used since 1977. That line had 150- 
some turning points, so it was a very complicated line that was 
simply derived by computer. There was some straightening, if you 
will, so that the line became a simpler line. 

The United States was not disadvantaged in any way. I am told 
by our technicians we actually picked up a few acres in that proc- 
ess. So, as far as the amounts of acreage at stake, I think there 


is nothing to be concerned about. And we certainly did not give up 
any ground that was known to be of interest. But we will work 
with your staff this afternoon and see if we can do something to 
satisfy the Governor. 

The Chairman. Good. I thank you very much, indeed. 

I very much want this to go through, because you know how 
much I believe in the Law of the Sea, and I recognize the connec- 

Thank you for being with us. 

The hearing is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 11:30 a.m., the hearing was adjourned, to recon- 
vene subject to the call of the Chair.] 



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